Thanks to the more than 14 feet of snow we’ve received so far in January, we officially have 100% of our terrain open. That’s terrain, not lifts — Alpine Bowl Chair is our one chairlift that has had a long-term mechanical issue with no estimated opening date at this time, unfortunately. Looking ahead, we have a small snowstorm in the forecast for the weekend, with some wind impacts expected. Starting on Monday, we will be closing Red Dog for at least 2 days while we re-splice the haul rope.
Red Dog Closure
On Monday and Tuesday, the Red Dog chairlift will be closed while we are re-splicing the haul rope. This is a routine and anticipated project on a new chairlift, or on any chair where we’ve recently installed or replaced a haul rope. Essentially, the cable stretched after its first few weeks under tension, and we need to shorten it. We did this same thing when we replaced the haul rope on Far East last year.
New haul ropes will stretch after the initial installation and then, after running for a bit, they “settle.” A typical detachable lift relies on a hydraulic system to maintain proper rope tension while the lift load (meaning people getting on and off of the lift) varies. This hydraulic system has a limited range of travel to function properly. As the haul rope length increases, the range of travel will decrease. We are currently near the “end of travel” on our tension system and need to shorten the haul rope to achieve the proper range of travel.
Our teams will be starting the splice on Monday morning, and while the closure may be longer than 2 days, we expect to have Red Dog back open for the weekend. Far East may experience some delays or closure periods while we are working on the Red Dog cable. We will keep you up-to-date on the Mountain Operations Twitter. We will also share some behind-the-scenes photos and information about this cable splice next week.
Red Dog will re-open as soon as possible, but expect to see more closures in this zone over the coming weeks as our grooming crews prepare for and build the race course for the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup, a stop on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Tour.
We are probably going to have wind impacts on ridgeline lifts at both mountains this weekend. On Sunday especially, we are expecting a southwest wind that will gust above 70 miles per hour. The good news is that there is some snow accompanying this gusty spell. Here are the totals expected by Monday morning:
- 2-5 inches at the base
- 3-6 inches at mid-mountain elevations
- 4-7 inches up top
LIFT + TERRAIN UPDATES:
- As mentioned above, Alpine Bowl Chair still does not have an estimated opening date. We are still waiting for a wiring harness part to arrive. This part was very specific and was not something we could fabricate in-house. Unfortunately, it has taken a long time to track down the part and we continue to wait for its arrival, despite having ordered it some time ago.
- Belmont and Tiegel Terrain Parks were recently refreshed, and the Riviera boardercross course is open as well. The Terrain Parks team has been hard at work on the Gold Coast Terrain Park, where we will be adding a 3-jump series (25 feet, 35 feet, and 45 feet) as well as an advanced rail line. We estimate another 3 days or so to get this park open.
- On Sunday night, wind direction will change and pick up speed, which could give us some midweek trouble with lifts like Summit or Granite Chief.
- In a few weeks, expect to see some terrain closures off of the Red Dog chairlift as we start to prep the Dog Face and Dog Leg course for the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup, a stop on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour. We’ll keep you updated on closures and give you some behind-the-scenes looks here.
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